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Soy nuts are a crunchy snack made from mature soybeans that have been soaked in water, drained, and baked or roasted.

They taste similar to other soy products but have a nuttier texture and can even be ground into nut butter.

Since soy nuts are rich in fiber, plant protein, isoflavones, and several other nutrients, they may promote weight loss and boost heart and bone health, among other benefits.

Here are 6 impressive benefits of soy nuts.

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Eating soy nuts may help lower cholesterol levels and improve other risk factors for heart disease.

While the exact mechanism is not entirely understood, fiber, protein, and the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in soy likely play a role (1, 2).

Soy also contains isoflavones, which mimic estrogen and act as antioxidants in your body (3).

A review of 35 studies found that eating soy products significantly decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels, especially in those with high cholesterol (4).

Other studies suggest that soy nuts affect cholesterol levels more than other types of soy (5).

What’s more, an 8-week study in 60 women noted that eating 25 grams of protein from soy nuts per day lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 9.9% and 6.8%, respectively, in those with high blood pressure, compared with a diet without soy protein (6).

summary

Soy nuts may boost heart health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Soy nuts may aid weight loss due to their high protein content.

Eating more protein may boost metabolism and fullness, thus assisting weight loss (7).

Soy protein may work with fiber and isoflavones to provide additional benefits for fat metabolism and weight loss, but research is mixed (8, 9).

In an 8-week study in 30 adults with obesity, those who followed a low-calorie diet with soy protein experienced significantly greater reductions in body fat than those who ate a low-calorie diet with mostly animal protein (10).

A 12-week study in 39 adults with obesity or excess weight showed that eating biscuits with soy fiber for breakfast every day significantly decreased body weight, compared with eating biscuits without soy fiber (9).

Still, more research is needed on soy’s effects on weight.

Summary

The high protein, fiber, and isoflavone content of soy nuts may aid weight loss.

Isoflavones in soy nuts may boost bone strength and help prevent osteoporosis, a disease characterized by fragile bones and an increased risk of fractures.

In particular, genistein and other isoflavones have been shown to increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. This is likely because they benefit markers that control bone formation in your body (11, 12).

A review of 10 studies in menopausal women determined that supplementing with 90 mg of soy isoflavones per day for at least 6 months significantly increased bone mineral density, compared with a placebo (13).

While some studies do not associate isoflavone intake with improved bone strength, keep in mind that most studies use isoflavone supplements rather than soy foods. Some research suggests that soy foods increase isoflavone levels more than supplements (14, 15).

Summary

Soy nuts are a rich source of isoflavones, which may improve bone mineral density.

During menopause, estrogen levels decrease, leading to hot flashes, mood swings, and other symptoms. Since isoflavones in soy mimic estrogen, they may help alleviate symptoms (16).

One 8-week study in 60 older women found that those who ate a 1/2 cup (86 grams) of soy nuts per day experienced a 40% decrease in hot flashes, compared with those who ate a similar diet without soy nuts (17).

Additionally, a review of 17 studies in menopausal women revealed that eating soy isoflavones for 6 weeks to 12 months reduced the severity of hot flashes by over 20%, compared with a placebo (18).

However, other studies offer mixed results. A review of 10 studies noted little evidence that soy improves menopause symptoms (19, 20).

Research also suggests that soy’s effects on estrogen levels and menopause symptoms depends on how women individually process isoflavones (21).

summary

Isoflavones in soy nuts mimic estrogen and may relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, but research is inconsistent.

Current observational research suggests that soy foods may reduce your risk of breast and prostate cancers (22, 23).

Still, the effects of soy on cancer risk are highly debated. Animal studies yield mixed results regarding soy isoflavones and tumor growth, especially for breast cancer (24).

Even though the estrogen-like effects of isoflavones suggest that soy could increase your risk of breast cancer, human studies don’t support this (25).

A review of 35 studies linked soy intake to a reduced risk of breast cancer in women from Asian countries but found no association between soy and breast cancer in women from Western countries (25).

What’s more, studies associate soy intake with an approximately 30% lower risk of prostate cancer (26, 27).

The possible anticancer effects of soy are likely due to isoflavones, which act as antioxidants, as well as lunaisin, which promotes cancer cell death in test-tube and animal studies (28, 29, 30).

However, more extensive research on soy and cancer risk is needed.

summary

Soy nuts may safeguard against breast and prostate cancers, but more studies are necessary.

Soy nuts and nut butter are available online, as well as many grocery stores.

It’s easy to add them to meals and snacks, including salads, trail mix, yogurt, stir-fries, and pasta dishes. Various flavors and varieties exist, such as salted, unsalted, and spiced.

Since they are not technically nuts, soy nuts are a suitable alternative for those with peanut or tree-nut allergies.

Soy-nut butter can be spread on toast, added to smoothies, mixed into oatmeal, or served as a vegetable or fruit dip. You can also mix it with citrus juice or vinegar to make dressings and sauces.

For the healthiest options, look for varieties that have been dry-roasted or baked and don’t contain added vegetable oils, excess salt, or preservatives.

summary

Soy nuts taste great in yogurt, salads, and stir-fries, while soy-nut butter is an excellent addition to sandwiches, sauces, and smoothies.

Soy nuts are a crunchy, delicious snack made from dried soybeans.

They’re rich in protein, fiber, fatty acids, and beneficial plant compounds called isoflavones. They may not only aid weight loss but also boost heart and bone health.

If you’re interested in this delectable food, try adding it to your meals and snacks.